Keeping kids' feet fit

When buying shoes for your children, don't sacrifice proper fit and support for trendy styles. Bunions, corns, calluses and hammertoes are among the foot problems caused by poor-fitting shoes, says the American.

Here are some other shoe buying tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS):

  • Shoes should be soft and pliable with enough length in the toe box for growth and enough width for the toes to wiggle. There should be a thumb's width space between toes and the end of the shoe. The shoe should bend at the ball of the foot, not the middle.
  • Get your children's feet measured every time you buy them shoes. When their feet are being measured, children should stand and place their full weight on their feet. Both feet should be measured and you should choose a shoe that fits the bigger foot.
  • Don't buy shoes that are tight. They can damage your children's feet.
  • When trying on shoes, children should wear their normal socks and walk around in both shoes.
  • Check the fit of the heels as well as the toes, and feel the inside of the shoe for rough spots, glue, staples and other things that can cause foot irritation.
  • For girls who want a high heel or platform shoe, choose a 2.5 – 5cm chunky heel on shoes that have padded insoles and toe wiggle room. Limit the amount of time children wear such shoes. They should be alternated with flat-heeled shoes for part of the day.

(HealthScout News/Health24 February 2011)

South African Podiatry Association (SAPA)

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